Our mission in Onna Kingdom of Akwa Ibom State was planned to echo a development intervention guideline that advise gauging of local understanding of issues, ideals and beliefs to ensure the success of any intervention project.
This mantra guided us at Onna as we deliberated on a lot of issues related to our theme: How can we tackle this child witch-hunting menace together.
One of the definitions of a witch by the Onna people, of Akwa Ibom State was:
"a group of people or persons that do not want others to progress";
"the wickedness in high places that enters into people that make them do evil".
Next, we asked them to list the top five richest persons in Onna; and also to list the recently stigmatized child-witches; next we asked them if there was any of the children of these wealthy men in the list of the alleged witches. The answer was "NO!"
So, we asked: "Why are the children of the rich, influential and well educated, not witches?" This questions gingered responses that made the deliberations a fruitful one.
Sure, these definitions and other revelations will help formulate better advocacy/intervention projects in 2010 (Thanks to HAMU, Norway)